A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art

By Ian Chilvers | Go to book overview

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Paalen, Wolfgang (1905/7-59) . Austrian-born painter who became a Mexican citizen in 1945. He was born in Vienna, and after studying in France, Germany, and Italy, he lived in Paris from the late 1920s until 1939, when he emigrated to Mexico at the invitation of Frida *Kahlo. Paalen had a varied career in avant- garde circles (in the early 1930s, for example he painted cool abstractions and was a member of *Abstraction-Création), but he is best remembered for his involvement with *Surrealism, which lasted from 1936 to 1941. His most characteristic pictures depict phantasmogoric clawed creatures that he called 'Saturnine Princes. He also experimented with *automatism and is credited with inventing the technique of *fumage. In 1940 he helped to organize an international Surrealist exhibition in Mexico City. However, the following year he abandoned Surrealism and concentrated on his 'Dynaton' movement, aimed at uniting aspects of pre-Columbian art (which he studied and collected) and modern science. He put forward his ideas in the review Dyn (6 issues, 1942-4), his writings for which (in English) were collected in his book Form and Sense, published in New York in 1945. His collaborator in the Dynaton movement was another former Surrealist, the British- born (later American) painter Gordon Onslow Ford ( 1912- ).Together they arranged a Dynaton exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1951. Later in the 1950s Paalen developed a violent abstract style. He committed suicide.

Pacheco, Maria Luisa (1919-82) . Bolivian- born American painter. She studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of San Andres in her native La Paz and later returned there to teach. From 1946 to 1951 she worked as an illustrator on the La Paz daily newspasper La Razón, then in 1951-2, with a fellowship from the Spanish government, she studied in Madrid. Before her period in Madrid she had worked in the vein of *Social Realism then dominant in Bolivia, her subjects including Indians and tin miners, but the influence of Spanish painters such as * Canogar and * Tàpies turned her to abstraction and she became Bolivia's 'major Modernist artist of the period just after the Second World War' ( Edward *Lucie-Smith, Latin American Art of the 20th Century, 1993).

In 1956 Pacheco moved to the USA, settling in New York and subsequently becoming an American citizen. In her first years in the USA she absorbed *Abstract Expressionism and especially admired the work of *de Kooning. Later she developed an individual form of abstraction in collages of corrugated board, plywood, canvas, and sand that reflect the shapes and luminosity of the Andean landscape. In the 1960s she painted a series entitled Tiahuanacu, named after Bolivia's most important site of pre-Columbian culture.

Paik, Nam June . See VIDEO ART.

Painters Eleven . A group of Canadian abstract painters based in Toronto and active from 1953 to 1960. The most important member was William *Ronald. Apart from being abstract rather than figurative artists, the painters had little in common stylistically and for this reason the non-committal name of the group was deliberately chosen. They were united mainly by the desire to promote their work in an environment unfavourable to abstract art and in this achieved considerable success, especially after they were guest exhibitors with *American Abstract Artists in New York in 1956: 'The Canadians were generously received by the American critics and . . . back home the exhibition drew more attention than any of their previous activities. It really marked the acceptance among the

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